When playing a tough non-conference schedule, sometimes a game just doesn’t go as planned for a team. And for the Havre High girls basketball team, that game came on Thursday night.
Thursday night at th
e Havre High gymnasium in Havre, the Central A Blue Ponies fell 50-30 to the Class AA Great Falls High Bison. This was the second loss to the Bison this season for the Ponies. HHS lost the first game 54-41 in Great Falls.
Overall, the Ponies didn’t play well against an explosive Bison team.
“With their pressure on us, we were struggling,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We have to do a better job of taking care of the ball, dribbling it, passing it, and catching it. I thought that in the second half we handled it better, but by then you are scrambling so much that you need luck on your side to get back into it. We have to do a better job.”
Great Falls High controlled the tempo of the game for all four quarters, and really took advantage of their athleticism to find ways to score in the paint. Even with the Ponies’ defense coming at the Bison with their strong, full court press, the Bison were able to break the press on several occasions for easy layups.
And on defense, the Bison’s full court press pestered the Ponies all night long, forcing 31 costly turnovers and low percentage shots. Against the stiff defense the Ponies knocked down just 11 field goals, and were blocked seven times. And to make things worse, the Ponies were just 8-of-17 from the free throw line as they played catch up all night long. Chanal Standing Rock had a decent night, leading the Ponies with 12 points. Neya Bischoff followed with seven.
To start the contest, the Bison took a 7-2 lead after the first eight minutes. Though the HHS offense struggled, the defense kept the Ponies in the contest early. But as the game progressed, the Bison were able to get past the Ponies full court press and find the open shooter for several quick scoring runs. In the second quarter there was a 1:30 stretch where on three straight Pony turnovers and a missed shot, the Bison scored eight straight points.
In the second quarter the Ponies were outscored 22-8 to take a 28-10 lead at the half. And in the second half the Ponies were outscored 21-20 on route to a loss.
“We are a better team than how we played,” Kraske said. “We have to do a better job all around, myself included.”
The loss drops the Ponies’ overall record to 8-5. And the Ponies will try to get back on track on Saturday when they face the CMR Rustlers in Great Falls.
Great Falls High 50, Havre 30
Great Falls 7 22 13 8 — 50
Havre 2 8 10 12 8 — 30
Great Falls — Callee Remsen 13, Katie Dolan 11, Jessica Keller 6, Katie Schermele 5, Jordan Johnson 3, Kelsey Devlin 3, Macaulea Romsa 3, McKinzie Horton 2, Markayla Frances 2, Savannah Kynett 2.
Havre — Chanal Standing Rock 12, Neya Bischoff 7, Peyton Filius 4, Sammy Evans 3, Jaclyn Evans 2, Brandy Lambourne 2.